Well, wadd’ya know. After one promising album, Breaking Benjamin tighten up and refine their sound for a superb second album, and befriend Smashing Pumpkin Billy Corgan. Although “Saturate” had the occasional lighter musical touch, “We Are Not Alone” find the BB’s really getting into the dynamics of recording. Even the rocking first single “So Cold” shows that they have figured out how to use the studio as an instrument. It still rips like a locomotive, but has a solid sense of texture. So does “Breakdown,” which rocks hard but also includes a seriously catchy chorus.
Most indicative of this band’s growth are “Forget It” and “Rain.” Two of the songs co-written by Corgan, they are the ballads that find lead singer Benjamin Burnley jettisoning his nu-metal growl and actually singing. (They’re also 10 times better than anything on Corgan’s over-hyped Zwan project.) It makes for a grandiose touch to “Rain” and makes “Forget It” sound like a hit single. It also helps guitar hero in the making Aaron Fink show off his range on both the electric to acoustic leads. Breaking Benjamin beat the sophomore jinx here, and remain a band to watch.